Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Courtesy of the Woodlawn Theatre
isn't the only drag queen road trip movie to come out of the '90s.
A year before Too Wong Foo
came out, the Aussies beat the Americans to the punch with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
, which stars a pre-Matrix
Hugo Weaving and pre-Memento
Guy Pearce as two drag queens who are joined on a road trip through the outback by transgender woman Bernadette, who's played by General Zod himself, Terrence Stamp. The flamboyant trio is borne across the Australian backcountry by their faithful – if dilapidated – tour bus Priscilla, which gives the movie its name.
If this doesn't sound like a perfect story to be turned into a jukebox musical, then I don't know what to tell you, because in 2007 writer and director Stephan Elliott adapted his movie for the stage with the shortened title Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. S
cored with requisite pop hits from "It's Raining Men" to "Like a Virgin," the original Australian show soon spawned productions worldwide, and the Broadway version nabbed the 2011 Tony Award for Best Costume Design.
The Woodlawn Theatre's production doesn't have a Broadway budget, but they've pulled out all the stops to clothe their stars in costumes worthy of royalty, carefully mimicking Mitzi and Felicia's emblematic lewks – from a sky-high blue and green wig to a '60s mod shift made out of flip flops (or "thongs," to use the Oz vernacular).
And just because its about drag queens doesn't mean that this show will be lip-synced – stars Jesse Beere (Felicia/Adam), John Berring (Mitzi/Tick) and Ronald Watson (Bernadette) will belt their hearts out, backed by a live orchestra seated in the Woodlawn's balcony.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
opens at the Woodlawn on Friday, October 11 and will run through November 3.
$18-$30, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Rd., (210) 267-8388, woodlawntheatre.org.
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